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Thread: Singapore Also Can
07-21-2009, 11:01 PM #222
China's sportswear brand Li-Ning opens flagship store in Singapore
21 July 2009
Editor: Zhang Xiang
SINGAPORE, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan officiated at the opening of Li-Ning's badminton flagship store in Singapore, its first store in Asia outside China. (Mr Lee is also the President, Singapore Badminton Association.)
The sportswear giant Li-Ning, founded by top China gymnast Li Ning, set up its Southeast Asia regional headquarters in Singapore's newest shopping mall, ION Orchard, according to a statement by Singapore's Ministry of State for Trade and Industry. (ION Orchard had a soft launch yesterday.)
The minister said that over the last five years plus, the number of Chinese companies in Singapore has increased by more than two folds, from 1,300 to 3,000 in March 2009.
He added that Singapore offers locational and unparalleled access to the growing market for sports and lifestyle products and services in the region.
In thanking Li-Ning for their sponsorship of the Singapore Badminton Association's players and tournaments for 2009, he said, "We are happy that Li-Ning has chosen Singapore for the same reasons. Li-Ning's confidence in Singapore as base for its first foreign venture is truly a testament to our strength as a platform for internationalization."
(The minister also said "The value of the sports industry in Singapore crossed the one billion dollar mark in 2007. We are on track to reach our target of $2 billion GDP contribution by 2015. The Singapore government’s commitment to grow Singapore’s sports industry is anchored by the strategic partnership between the Economic Development Board and Singapore Sports Council.
"We adopt a holistic approach to develop the sports industry. We encourage companies to host major sporting events here, such as the Formula 1, Aviva Open and the Asian Youth Games to complement marketing initiatives. In addition, we offer them locational and unparalleled access to the growing market for sports and lifestyle products and services in the region.")
ION Orchard brochure:
ION Orchard, a world-class shopping mall, will redefine the retail, fashion and lifestyle experience in Singapore. With an unmatched location, award-winning architecture, and astute management, ION Orchard is poised to become Asia's premier must-visit retail destination.
Urban, The Straits Times
Wed, Jul 22, 2009
All eyes on ION
by Karen Tee
It is not just the luxury duplexes offering high-end brands that shoppers can look forward to when Ion Orchard opens next Tuesday (July 21).
Sure, everyone is talking about those two-storey monoliths that encircle the ground floor of Singapore's most anticipated mall.
What is filling up the 640,000sq ft of shopping space within looks set to be pretty impressive too - especially for shoppers who moan about seeing the same old brands at every mall.
Ion Orchard has leased out 94% of its floor space, with 70% of that going to new-to-market brands as well as new concept and flagship stores, says a spokesman for the mall.
This is more than the initial target of 60%, he notes.
So when Ion Orchard finally opens, do not be surprised to spot flagship stores from unfamiliar names such as China sportswear label Li Ning and British business apparel brand T.M.Lewin among high-street favourites like Zara and Topshop.
Retailers say it is the buzz surrounding the mall and the commitment to introduce shoppers to new and unfamiliar brands that have convinced them to set up shop there.
'Ion Orchard is the mall to be in and is located right in the heart of Orchard Road,' says Andre Neo, advertising and promotions manager of T.M.Lewin, which is distributed by local fashion distributor Jay Gee Enterprises.
'It will also get a lot of foot traffic because it is located above an MRT station, so it makes sense for us to showcase a wide range of our merchandise here.'
As the flagship, the T.M.Lewin store at Ion Orchard will carry both men's and women's apparel. Its other stores at Orchard Central, Suntec City and Changi Airport T2 Transit Lounge carry only the men's line.
Even brands that may not necessarily have a fashion-centric focus, such as
Li Ning, did not hesitate to snap up space at the mall.
'We believe Ion Orchard can appeal to more than just...luxury spenders,' says Vivien Lim, general manager of South-east Asia operations for Li Ning.
'With sports wellness being promoted in Singapore, consumers now have a dedicated sports store in a central location that caters to their sporting needs.'
Indeed, experts believe that Ion Orchard is the Next Big Thing for shoppers.
'Not since the completion of Takashimaya Shopping Centre in 1993 has there been a mall of such a big scale,' says a retail property expert, who declines to be named as she represents other Orchard Road developers.
'Retailers believe shoppers want to shop there, so they want to set up shop there.'
Urban brings you nine new brands and retail concepts that you will want to check out when you stride into Singapore's newest mall of consumerist dreams.
Details of the Li Ning store at ION Orchard:
If the name rings a bell, it is because this Beijing sportswear company was founded in 1990 by Li Ning, China's top gymnast in the 1980s.
A giant in China, it sponsors some of the country's top gymnasts as well as badminton and table-tennis players. Former world No. 1 shuttler Lin Dan is among those who endorse the brand.
The Singapore store is the brand's first outside China.
It will focus on badminton gear, including apparel, shoes and racquets as the company wants to position itself as a strong player in that particular sport, says Vivien Lim, its general manager of South-east Asia operations.
There will also be a small selection of table-tennis apparel.
Although the brand's logo looks similar to Nike's Swoosh, Lim says it was derived from Li Ning's initials and is supposed to resemble a squirrel's tail - a symbol of balance, which is an essential element of gymnastics.
She also points out that its slogan, Anything Is Possible, was developed in 2002, ahead of Adidas' Impossible Is Nothing, which was launched in 2003.
Floor space: 1,497 sq ft
Price range: Prices start from $39.90 for a T-shirt, $89.90 for shoes and $99 for badminton racquets
07-23-2009, 02:46 AM #223
Big boost for badminton
July 22, 2009
Chinese retail giant Li Ning sponsors Singapore team and plans to open regional academies
by Low Lin Fhoong
FOR close to two decades, the Li Ning brand has been synonymous with China's four dream teams - gymnastics, diving, shooting and table tennis - with the four accounting for more than half of the country's 51-gold haul at the Beijing Olympics.
Badminton gold medallist Lin Dan, alias "Super Dan", and the nation's top ranked shuttlers joined Li Ning's stable of stars in April.
Now, the Chinese sports apparel firm, which was founded by 1984 triple gymnastic gold medallist Li Ning, is looking to develop badminton in a big way in the region: through sponsorships and the setting up of badminton academies here and in Malaysia and Indonesia.
The company announced this at the opening of the Li Ning flagship store at Ion Orchard yesterday, the only retail outlet outside the Chinese mainland, which has over 6,000 stores.
Li Ning are planning to open between 100 and 150 distribution stores in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei by the end of the year.
Said Li Ning's chief financial officer Nicholas Chong: "Badminton is a very popular sport in South-east Asia, and Singapore is the right point to make inroads into the region.
"Ion Orchard is the latest 'in' place and its strategic location will allow us to showcase our products to consumers. Within the next five to 10 years, we want to emerge as one of the top players in the badminton market."
To further the sport's growth here, the company will fork out about $1 million in investments this year, including a year-long sponsorship of the national badminton team, two-year contracts with 13 national players as well as sponsorship of International Series and the Singapore Youth International.
Negotiations are also underway for the firm to take over the title sponsorship of the Aviva Open, valued at between $8 million and $9 million for a four-year period.
The sport is set to mushroom in the region with the setting up of the firm's badminton academies in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, said Vivien Lim, Li Ning Sports Singapore general manager (South-east Asia), as they will be able to learn from the best coaches.
"We're talking to the Singapore Sports Council about having a badminton academy here and planning will take about six to nine months, and we're looking at a detailed plan by end of next year," she said.
"We also want to sponsor about five to 10 of the top badminton schools and their coaches."
Arguably one of the China's most prominent sports brands, the company's move to boost the game's development in the region may seem a tad ironic, given that countries like Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia could give the Chinese a run for their money in the future.
But Lim said it's not about fuelling the competition: "Although Li Ning is from China, it's not so much about the other teams challenging China ... we want to contribute to the development of players.
"Opening badminton academies is about developing the game, not about big returns in the monetary sense, but getting people to love the game. It also helps us to build the Li Ning brand in South-east Asia."
07-24-2009, 07:09 AM #224
This giant of a transparent new kid-on-the-block of many high-class shops and new products located just above the Orchard MRT Station will definitely attract many visitors, locals and foreigners alike.
The timing is good too as this famous tourist shopping belt of Orchard Road has now been transformed with a wider sidewalk and new street furniture to give it a refresher and newer look. More items and events will be added along the way and come Christmas, Orchard Road will again be abuzz with high human traffic, activities, celebrations and cheers.
Some pictures to get you interested:
07-28-2009, 02:01 AM #225
07-28-2009, 03:33 AM #226
I just love the tremendous reception our 45,000 Singaporean Liverpool fans gave to our esteemed visitors and for creating that kind of electrifying Anfield atmosphere in our historic National Stadium before it is pulled down later to make way for the Kallang Sports Hub.
The stadium became a sea of rippling red, in both Liverpool and Singapore colours, just like the fresh and warm RED of your huge lettering. Singapore fans behaved much like their English counterparts, wearing Liverpool jerseys and other of the well-known club's paraphernalia, singing the Anfield song and patiently waiting for hours before the game to soak in the rare atmosphere. What was missing was captain Steven Gerrard's absence to give the occasion an added meaning.
Even if Liverpool had scored 10 goals against Singapore, Singapore fans would not have minded the least. They like to see their Liverpool idols in action and putting on the style! Alonso, Torres, Nemeth et all delighted them all. A long distance curling strike into goal from Gerrard would have injected a delightful icing on the cake.
Thanks Dato for reminding us.
07-28-2009, 03:48 AM #227
A Reply From Liverpool
THANK YOU, SINGAPORE
Paul Eaton 27 July 2009
Bangkok may have set the standards, but Singapore rose to the challenge in style as Liverpool spent the past week proving they really do have the best fans in the world.
It was never going to be easy for the second destination on Liverpool's tour of Asia to live up to the standards set in Thailand, but over the last four days Singaporean Kopites set about proving you don't need to live within walking distance of Anfield to share a unique passion for the club.
The relatively low-key welcome at the team hotel proved to be a major red-herring when assessing the passion for Liverpool in this part of the world. Tight security, and not lack of interest, was the reason why it took 24 hours for the Reds stay in Singapore to really come to life.
But it was well worth the wait.
With players idolised wherever they went, the first open training session staged in front of thousands of fans and events all over the island giving supporters the chance to cheer their heroes, Singaporeans were soon quick to show their love of Liverpool FC can rival that of anywhere the Reds may travel.
With Steven Gerrard absent from the trip, Fernando Torres was number one in the eyes of the locals - but with transfer speculation at fever pitch back home there was also a passionate show of huge support for another of the club's Spanish stars.
If Xabi Alonso didn't know how much he was loved by Liverpool fans before the tour of Asia, then he does now.
Such was one group of fans' desire to see our midfield maestro remain with the club, they took the opportunity to spell out a heartfelt message in Spanish across their t-shirts. "Please don't leave us" was their emotional plea.
Torres may have won the award for most shirts and biggest cheers, but Alonso was head and shoulders above the rest of his team-mates for flag support.
"Stay and win the league with us", "Alonso don't go" and "We need you Xabi" were just a few of the dozens of flags displaying support for our midfield star.
Fans back on Merseyside and those outside Melwood each day can rest easy - Singaporeans have continued to remind Xabi - even when he was arriving at and departing the team hotel - that he holds a very special place in our hearts.
His introduction into the friendly on Sunday prompted one of the biggest cheers of the night, as 55,000 locals filled the national stadium to enjoy a once in a lifetime moment to watch Rafa's men in action.
The first half may have been relatively quiet, but once Liverpool got into their stride in the second period the goals started to flow, with Andriy Voronin's early opener added to after the break by Albert Riera and Fernando Torres, while Hungarian hot-shot Krisztian Nemeth notched a double.
It was an occasion to savour inside the national stadium as red and white shirts filled the open stands and sounds from Anfield were transferred thousands of miles away to Singapore.
"I have loved every second of Liverpool's visit here," said local Chris Chow. "I never thought I would get a chance to see the players, but they have made all of my dreams come true this week. I can't thank them enough for that.
"It's a pity Steven Gerrard couldn't be here, but to see the likes of Torres, Mascherano and Alonso playing in our country was incredible. I don't know when I'll next get the chance, but I'll remember this week forever."
One fan more excited than most about the Reds' visit was 18-year old Karli Harun, who got the chance to get up close and personal with her heroes at a special meet and greet session at the team hotel.
"When I saw Alonso I almost passed out," she told us. "And then when Torres walked past. I thought I was having a dream - only this time I didn't wake up. It was the best moment of my life. I got pictures and autographs with all the players which I'll treasure forever."
Liverpool's time in Singapore, just as in Thailand, was split between public events and important training sessions, with the highlight being a cruise down the Singapore River which drew upwards of 25,000 fans to cheer the Reds along the route.
"When we had a look at the options at the best way of giving most people the chance to see the team, we decided on the river cruise and we definitely picked the right option," said Steve McMahon, Commercial Director of the Profitable Group which promoted Liverpool's tour.
"It was amazing to see so many fans along the river, all dressed in red and waving scarves and cheering their players. It made me very proud as a Liverpool fan to see such adulation for the players here in Singapore. This is a real hot-bed of football and a real hot-bed of Liverpool support - and they have proved it this week."
And so as the Liverpool squad look forward to a well earned three days off following their successful trip to Asia, Singaporean Kopites will bask forever in the special memories they have been privileged to enjoy over the last few days.
Singapore may be almost seven thousand miles away from Anfield, but for one never to be forgotten week the Kop was taken to Asia - and our many fans in faraway lands proved just why Liverpool FC is the best club in the world.
07-28-2009, 11:10 PM #228
New boardwalk to Sentosa
The Straits Times
July 28, 2009
By Lim Wei Chean
BY NEXT November, visitors to Sentosa will have another option of getting to the resort island - on foot. A new 620-m boardwalk with five pairs of covered travellators will make the journey a breeze.
Works on the $70-million boardwalk kicked off on Tuesday.
Ranging from 25m to 40m in width, the walkway will also be lined with retail and food and beverage outlets along the way.
The walkway will link up to Sentosa's integrated resort, Resorts World at Sentosa, which will direct visitors to the resort or to attractions within the rest of the island. It is designed to carry 8,000 visitors per hour in each direction and is part of the resort island's plans to enhance transport links as it gears up for a surge in visitors when the IR opens early next year.
The boardwalk, said Sentosa Leisure Group's chief executive officer Mike Barclay, is part of a $300-million budget to overhaul the transport links on the island to ensure that it can receive the increase in visitors, which is expected to double.
The walkway will offer five different themed gardens, from mangrove, rock garden, terrain and hill, coastal flora and rainforest, giving visitors a different experience as they pass from one zone to the next.
It will be lit at night to offer a different experience. This boardwalk will replace the original pedestrian path along the causeway bridge to the island that was closed in August 2007 for the construction of the second bridge.
07-29-2009, 03:42 AM #229
That resort looks sweet. I might pop by down there next year to play some cards. :P
07-29-2009, 03:48 AM #230
07-30-2009, 09:03 AM #231
I'll be down in Singapore sometime soon (hopefully within a year) with at least a 5 figure bankroll to gamble with .
Take it easy uncle Loh and don't stress too much
07-31-2009, 12:01 AM #232
Flying high over Sentosa
The Straits Times
Fri, Jul 31, 2009
Sentosa's Mega attraction
Sentosa has opened its latest attraction, a multimillion-dollar adventure park.
MegaZip Adventure Park features a flying fox ride, a simulated free-fall jump, an obstacle rope course and a climbing wall.
The centrepiece is the flying fox ride which gives the park its name. Billed as one of Asia's steepest and longest, it will take riders 450m from a tower 72m up over the island's jungle canopy and Siloso Beach. The ride ends on an islet.
Thrillseekers, tethered by harnesses, have to be at least 1.2m tall to get on it.
The park is a five-minute bus ride from Siloso Beach.
Three years in the making, the attraction aims to pull in 60,000 visitors in its first year.
Corporate and private groups can visit the park from today, but members of the public will have to wait a few weeks.
The park's managing director Alexander Blyth explained yesterday that this will enable the staff to iron out the kinks in logistics and operations.
The park will be open daily from 10am to 10pm.
Ticket prices range from $10 to $60 per person, depending on the choice of activities. Family packages for two adults and up to three children are available.
The attached pictures are those of the flying fox rides which give the MegaZip Adventure Park at Sentosa its name. The rides at the multi-million-dollar adventure park, billed as one of Asia's steepest and longest, will take riders 450m from a tower 72m up over the island's jungle canopy and Siloso Beach.
08-03-2009, 03:52 AM #233
S'pore Keglers Bag Bronze At World Championships
The Straits Times
Aug 3, 2009
It is also Republic's first bowling team medal at world championships
By Christopher Ong
SINGAPORE'S bowlers, without a win after three events at the 2009 World Women's Championship in Las Vegas, finally clinched the bronze in the team event on Sunday.
The achievement was made sweeter by the fact that it was also the first team medal for Singapore at any world championship, according to team manager Melvin Lim, 34.
The team, comprising Jasmine Yeong-Nathan, Bernice Lim, Cherie Tan, Jazreel Tan, Shayna Ng and reserve Geraldine Ng, finished joint-third with Sweden after they were beaten in the semi-finals by the United States.
Singapore's aggregate of 934 pinfalls was 101 fewer than that of the Americans (Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Kim Terrell-Kearney, Wendy Macpherson, Stefanie Nation and Liz Johnson).
Said Yeong-Nathan, 20: 'Both teams had a lot of splits and it was a matter of seeing if the shots could carry. We fought really hard but things didn't go as well as during the qualifiers. Still, it's really amazing that we have all gone home with something.'
Manager Lim said that the team had been determined to put in a strong showing, after failing to win a medal in the Singles, Doubles and Trios events.
He said: 'The championships have the best teams in the world. There are also many professional bowlers taking part so the standards were high. The bronze is a tremendous achievement, given that we have a couple of rookies in the team.'
Bernice, 17, was one of those rookies, alongside Shayna and Geraldine. The competition was her first on the world stage, and her biggest to date.
Despite that, she handled the pressure well, posting Singapore's second-highest score of 184 in the semi-finals, behind Jazreel's 224.
Said Bernice, who is with the Auckland Univeristy of Technology course for post-secondary Singapore Sports School students: "It was my biggest overseas competition so far but I just told myself to have fun and enjoy."
The team event saw 35 countries contesting a first block in short-oil and a second block in medium-oil.
The top four teams qualified for the semi-finals, with Singapore ranking third after the two blocks with an aggregate of 6,389.
The event was won by South Korea after they beat the US in the final by 104 pinfalls with an aggregate of 1,175.
There was more good news for Singapore as Cherie Tan qualified for the Masters (round of 16) with her aggregate of 5,100 from the Singles, Doubles, Trios and Team events. She was 13th among the 16 qualifiers out of 228 bowlers.
Having won her maiden title at the 41st Singapore International Open last year in the women's open category, the Masters will be another opportunity for Tan to shine.
She was facing Denmark's Rikke Rasmussen in a best-of-five contest early this morning (Singapore time) to decide who makes the quarter-finals.
The semi-finals and finals will also be held today.
Making history for a Singapore bowling team are (top row, from left) Jasmine Yeong-Nathan, Shayna Ng, Geraldine Ng and (bottom row, from left) Cherie Tan, Jazreel Tan and Bernice Lim. They ended joint-third with Sweden. -- PHOTO: ASIAN BOWLING FEDERATION
08-07-2009, 03:36 AM #234
Singapore's National Day
August 7, 2009
Singapore's largest National Flag
I still remember Pemuda used to talk about Malaysia's tallest flag pole and this time Singapore has its own version for its 44th birthday which will be celebrated on August 9 at the Marina Bay Floating Platform.
This Singapore flag, flying from the top of the Tiger Sky Tower in Sentosa, is the nation's largest.
It spans more than 700 square metres, and is bigger than a basketball court. According to the Singapore Book of Records, the flag, which will be flying till Aug 30, breaks the record as the largest Singapore flag to be mounted on a flagpole.
Before this, the largest was the State flag - reportedly measuring 500 square metres - that was flown by Chinook helicopters during the National Day Parade in 2007.
The Straits Times
Aug 7, 2009
The Pledge Moment
More than 700 establishments will take part in recital
ByJermyn Chow & Grace Chua
COMMUTERS, shoppers - even diners - will pause for a moment when the chime is sounded at 8.22pm this Sunday. The signal - to be sounded over the national public warning system - will rally Singaporeans islandwide to say the National Pledge. This 'Pledge Moment' has attracted more than 700 establishments to take part.
The Coffee Connoisseur (TCC) cafe employee Abdul Kadil, 21, is planning to drop everything. He said: 'I'll do it because I'm very proud to be Singaporean.'
Volunteers for the 30-second initiative include at least nine food and beverage chains, 37 shopping malls, and transport operators, with more expected to sign up.
And as the finale of the National Day Parade (NDP) plays out at the floating platform at Marina Bay, SMRT will even stop its train services and allow commuters and staff to observe the moment.
Eight of CapitaLand Retail's 15 malls will be taking part. Some will screen the parade and Pledge while others, like Junction 8, are hosting various activities over the National Day weekend. Its spokesman said: 'We just want to do our part for the nation. The public will come to our malls, and it's a good opportunity to rally all Singaporeans.'
More than 12,000 people gathered at NDP parties across eight heartland areas, including Pasir Ris-Punggol, Toa Payoh and Woodlands, will join the 150,000 people at the Marina Bay in the Pledge Moment.
Rousing the crowd ahead of the Aug 9 party will be 100 volunteers from non-profit group Heartware Network. These 'flash mobs' descended on shopping centres in Tampines on Thursday, and will keep up the momentum at Vivocity on Friday.
Efforts too have been made overseas to galvanise the Singaporean diaspora. Many based in at least 12 countries are planning to take part in the Pledge Moment.
Some citizens based as far away as Afghanistan and Monterey, California, are planning to wake from sleep to say it. Others are based in time zones closer to home, like Hong Kong and Beijing in China, Myanmar and Australia.
More people are likely to commit to the Pledge Moment in the next two days, but organisers say the objective is not to break any record. 'We just want people to be part of this historic moment, when they can reflect on the Pledge and mean what they say,' said NDP's celebrations chairman Colonel Ang Heng.
Singapore's Tallest Viewing Tower
Located at Sentosa, Singapore's tallest observatory tower offers panoramic views at 131 metres above sea level across Singapore, Sentosa, Southern Islands, right up to neighboring Malaysia and the Indonesian islands.
The Sky Tower has a capacity of 72 in its enclosed, air-conditioned cabin. The day and night views from the tower promise to be both scenic and breathtaking.
Suitable for all ages, the Sky Tower is a key point of interest and forms a distinctive landmark as it gently revolves to a viewing height of almost 50 stories above the surrounding natural greenery. It also overlooks the upcoming Resorts World at Sentosa.
Quick Sky Tower Facts
Tower height: 110m
View height: 131m from sea level, almost 50 storeys high
Tower column diameter: 2.5m
Foundation diameter: 15m
Cabin capacity: 72 persons
Tiger is the name sponsor of the Sky Tower.
08-09-2009, 07:32 AM #235
happy national day to singapore
08-09-2009, 09:40 AM #236
Singapore is 44 today
Yes it has been 44 years since Singapore's independence and separation from Malaysia. This evening the Marina Bay became a spectacle of illuminating colours, fireworks, song, music and dance. Singapore celebrates.
The initial thought of having to rely all on yourself, a relatively tiny island and small city state without much natural resources in the whole of Southeast Asia seemed to be a rather daunting task but it slowly sank in that whatever, you have to swim or sink, do or die.
Singapore wasted no further negative thoughts on the matter and started in earnest to rebuild the economy and to provide its people with the basic necessities like jobs, housing and education.
It has been a far cry from those early days of poverty and uncertainty and Singapore has now leapfrogged from a third world undeveloped country status to become what it is today as a developed country with one of Asia's highest standards of living and still moving forward.
It is perhaps timely that Singaporeans again remind themselves of its historical circumstances and how we managed to survive through the years and never gave up hope. For this I have extracted some statements and accounts by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew when he wrote "The end of the affair" in The Standard, China's business newspaper on September 19, 1998:
* "Whereas it is the inalienable right of a people to be free and independent, I, Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore, do hereby proclaim and declare on behalf of the people and the Government of Singapore that as from today, the ninth day of August in the year 1965, Singapore shall be forever a sovereign, democratic and independent nation, founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever-seeking the welfare and happiness of her people in a more just and equal society."
* Two hundred and fifty miles to the north, in peninsular Malaysia, Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman was making his own proclamation, declaring that "Singapore shall cease to be a state of Malaysia and shall forever be an independent and sovereign state and nation separate from and independent of Malaysia, and that the Government of Malaysia recognises the Government of Singapore as an independent and sovereign government of Singapore and will always work in friendship and co-operation with it".
* Separation! What I had fought so hard to achieve was now being dissolved. Why? And why so suddenly? It was only two years since the island of Singapore had become part of the new Federation of Malaysia (which also included the North Borneo territories of Sarawak and Sabah).
* The partners - predominantly Malay in Malaya, predominantly Chinese in Singapore - had not been compatible. Their union had been marred by increasing conjugal strife over whether the new Federation should be a truly multi-racial society, or one dominated by the Malays.
* Every time we look back on this moment when we signed this agreement which severed Singapore from Malaysia, it will be a moment of anguish because all my life I have believed in merger and the unity of these two territories. It's a people connected by geography, economics, and ties of kinship.
* I was weighed down by a heavy sense of guilt. I felt I had let down several million people in Malaysia, immigrant Chinese and Indians, Eurasians, and even some Malays. I had aroused their hopes, and they had joined people in Singapore in resisting Malay hegemony, the root cause of our dispute.
I was ashamed that I had left our allies and supporters to fend for themselves, including party leaders from other states of Malaysia - Sabah, Sarawak, Penang, Perak, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.
Together, we had formed the Malaysian Solidarity Convention, which had been meeting and co-ordinating our activities to mobilise the people to stand up for a non-communal society. We had set out to create a broad coalition that could press the Alliance government in Kuala Lumpur for a "Malaysian Malaysia", not a Malay Malaysia - no easy matter, since the ruling Alliance itself was dominated by the Tunku's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).
* What were the real reasons for the Tunku, [Deputy Prime Minister] Razak and [Minister for Home Affairs] Ismail to want Singapore out of Malaysia? They must have concluded that if they allowed us to exercise our constitutional rights, they were bound to lose in the long run.
* The Malaysian Solidarity Convention - an alliance of opposition parties in Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia which came together to campaign for a Malaysian Malaysia, instead of a Malay-dominated federation - would have rallied the non-Malays and, most dangerous of all, eventually made inroads into the Malay ground on the peninsula.
* The Tunku's solution to these problems was separation. Singapore would be out of Malaysia and he would control Singapore through the supply of water from Johor and other levers of pressure. He told Viscount Head, on August 9, "if Singapore's foreign policy is prejudicial to Malaysia's interests we could always bring pressure to bear on them by threatening to turn off the water in Johor".
* Also on August 9, the Tunku told Tom Critchley, the Australian high commissioner, "we hold the upper hand and Singapore will have to consult with us in dealing with foreign governments". The Tunku and Razak thought they could station troops in Singapore, squat on us and if necessary close the causeway and cut off our water supply. They believed, not without foundation, that Singapore could not exist on its own
* As Ghazali bin Shafie, the permanent secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, said soon after separation, after a few years out on a limb, Singapore would be in severe straits and would come crawling back - this time on Malaysia's terms.
(Well Singapore did not crawl back to beg for readmission. Instead Singapore surpassed most expectations and continues to move ahead to create opportunities for itself and its people. Majulah Singapura!)
08-09-2009, 09:56 AM #237
08-09-2009, 10:08 AM #238
Reading that post by Loh above this one really summarises it all up.
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